Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Pontiac Bonneville General Maintenance and Repair



  • Have a 93 SE, the service engine light will come on at various times while driving, differant speeds at a stop etc. When it ding dings and comes on, the speedometer will go to zero and the engine idle will rev up and down and it will seem to have no power when trying to accelerate.if stopped when this does it, you press the gas pedal and barely move, after usually 10 seconds or so the dind ding will sound and the service engine light goes out and speedometer works. Took it in and was told computer code egr problem, had it reset and next day gain same problem for a week, took it back and was told it needed timing chain, (105k on car not replaced before). Well, after complete tune up and timing chain replaced and water pump, 10 minutes after pulling away...ding ding service engine light and same problem...any ideas? Thanks!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Need to know what trouble codes were set. Find the ALCL connector under the dash. It's a 12 socket connector usually near the steering column. Jumper terminal A (right upper) to B (next to it) with a paper clip. They should be labelled. Turn the key to run and count the check engine light flashes. Eg flash..pause..flash, flash.. is code 12.
  • just bought a '90. price was good. problem is, I have a intermittent "Battery" light, have had alternator and battery tested. Alternator looks like less than year old, everything checks out on them. Made the mistake of working on it with the power on but the car not running. 20 minutes competely killed the battery. meter hovers anywhere between 10 and 14. Any ideas?
  • hutbethutbet Posts: 7
    2000 bonneville SE started making this grunt bump sound from steering column at about 12000 miles when you turn the wheel. dealer only has questions and maybes for solutions, which i am not fond of. I have also noticed brake failure momentarily driving in heavy rain and leaving an automatic touchless car wash.
  • jj9952jj9952 Posts: 1
    After having the alternator replaced, the tranny started acting up. When the car is cold it will shift thou all the gears. After a few miles it would shift down to Torque lock and then to 3rd and stay there until the car was shut off and it cooled some. Here are the steps taking so far
    Step 1 - Replaced solenoids in tranny
    Step 2 - Trouble shoot (so called) electrical problem
    Step 3 - Replaced Computer
    Step 4 - Replaced Alternator (This time I was smart and bought an alternator with life-time warranty.)
    Step 5 - Replaced Tranny (this is where we are now.)
    Step 6 - Ordered new tranny
    Step 7 - Go visit bankrupt court if the tranny will make it there.

    Does anyone have a clue as to what is going on with the tranny?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,349
    brake's normal if the rotors get very wet that the first brake afterwards won't be very good.....

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • jrg4300jrg4300 Posts: 1
    I have a '92 SE with 125000 miles that I bought in '98 with 80000. The car has served me well, no breakdowns besides an alternator failure. It looks beautiful inside and out, better than some 2 year old ones, and I'd like to keep it for a long time. However there are some "problems" I've noticed over time that I'm wondering about.

    1. When driving slowly (<10mph) over broken/uneven pavement, the front suspension is very noisy/clunky sounding when hitting the bumps. Is there a simple fix or is it a major deal? The struts have been replaced recently if it means anything.

    2. Last summer, I encountered a situation on the highway. When cruising along, I came to a hill, doing around 70, and I stepped on the gas to gain speed. The engine started to "miss", I put my foot to the floor and the car was losing speed, with RPM's jumping between 1000 and 2000rpm. I could maintain speed by not forcing the trans. to downshift. After exiting the highway and coming to a stop the car just died. Fortunately it started again after 10 seconds. This never happened again but it worries me. I had some kind of electronic control thing located near the battery replaced later, but for a different problem-the car would just shut off calmly after 10 minutes of driving, which was confusing this device into thinking the car was overheating.

    3. My car has the common problem of the trans. dropping out of OD around 45mph-what's the fix for this?

    4. Illuminated entry stopped working last week-I pull the handle and no lights go on. How
    can this be fixed?

    5. On hot days while coming to a stop from a high speed the brakes clatter and the pedal vibrates in the 30-60mph range. Does this mean warped rotors or something else?

    Thanks in advance for any help. I'm not a mechanic so please excuse the descriptions if they aren't technically accurate.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I just sold my daughter's 92 SE with 128,000 miles on it over the weekend. It too had the same clunk going over a bump. I replaced the sway bar bushings and pins and while it helped somewhat, it wasn't the total answer. I talked to our mechanic and he said it could either be the strut (which you have replaced) or it could be the support mechanism for the strut. I know that many of these cars that use McPherson struts have a thrust bearing assembly at the top of the strut and I assume that was what he was referring to. He also said that it can be difficult to determine which of the two is causing the problem.
  • From post 213, I had car back in shop for 3 days as they tried to figure out what it was. I am to pick it up charge he said wants to make sure he got it right. They said it was code 14 CTS (coolent temp sensor) and MAT mainifold air temp sensor. We'll see if it solves the problem. Thanks for your advice. Do you think I paid unnecisarilly for a new timing belt? It does have 108k on it and hadn't replace before. Timing belt and water pump ran 500 bucks. Thanks again.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If they pulled a CTS code 14 it would definitely cause a driveability problem. The ecm uses that information to provide a richer fuel mixture for cold starts (like the choke on old carburetted engines), and if it thinks you're in Antarctica it's going to respond accordingly by providing way too much fuel. It's not an uncommon failure.

    As for the timing CHAIN, my '96 3800 has 60K on it now and will get a new chain and sprockets at 100K. It'll probably hang in a lot longer without a failure, but they stretch over time causing retarded valve timing, reducing power and fuel economy.
  • lewis21lewis21 Posts: 5
    My 96 Bonneville is a great car, but the other day the am/fm cassette radio dial & clock window went dark. Everything works, but neither the time nor radio stations are displayed. Went to the dealer and was advised.....for $500 they can replacing the entire radio. Sounds ridiculous but? Anyone have a similar experience?
  • JRG4300....Don't know about all the other problems, but I had a similar experience with my old '88 Buick... I would be driving along and all of a sudden it would just die -- nothing -- and after letting it set for a few minutes it would start right up and run great for a long time. Finally got the best of me and I took it back to the dealer and they replaced the crankshaft sensor (under warranty) and it ran fine after that. The tech told me the adjustment on it is very critical as if its too far away it will run and then cut out.... Hope this helps. Brad
  • What is most likely to be the result of using 89 octane fuel in my 2k model? It costs $.20/gal less than 92 here. I now average 22.6 mpg using premium.
  • markk11markk11 Posts: 2
    Lewis21... I had the same problem with my car radio(non gm vehicle).I found that the miniature lamp that backlites the display was burned out.Replacing the 2 dollar light bulb fixed the problem and has worked fine for the last 3+ years. Markk
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I generally don't let the tank get below half full and probably 1/3 to 1/2 the time, I'll put in 89. I know the car has a knock sensor that will retard timing under heavy load but I sure can't tell any difference in the performance. Probably a stopwatch would catch the difference but to me there is no perceptable difference.
    In the site for Caravans, there is a nasty debate going on over which is the better van, Grand Caravan or Honda Odyssey. One of the points was that according to a magazine article, using regular 87 octane in the Honda, which normally requires premium, adds a full second to the 1-60 time.
  • jashoujashou Posts: 18
    I have a 2000 SSEi and I too have experienced the crunch noise when turning at low speeds. I took it into the dealer and they Re torqued the body bolts and re torqued the shart bolt (don't know what that is but that was the explanation on the service ticket)and it fixed the problem. It also seems to have fixed the slight vibration I had in the steering wheel at higher speeds. I enjoy driving my Bone even more now! I hope this helps you out.
  • intense01intense01 Posts: 107
    I have a 2000 SSEi with LOTS of performance modifications.

    In a nutshell, I am running about three times the factory boost, my induction is completely opened up (cold air induction, Stage 2 MAF, S-ported supercharger, ported lower intake, ported and polished heads with oversized exhaust valves), and my exhaust is completely free-flowing as well (headers, 3.0"/2.5" mandrel-bent custom setup).

    After my last round of mods, I began having two problems, which I believe may be related, and I am in need of some expert advice.

    The first problem is that I literally have no ignition timing advance at WOT. With 93 octane, I will typically see about 7 degrees of advance, with 5 degrees of Knock Retard. This equates to only 2 degrees of total advance, which is robbing me of around 50 to 80 horsepower if my math is good. By the way, my air/fuel ratio is pretty close according to the front oxygen sensor. I start to go a little lean near the end of second gear, and I plan to resolve that issue with a Fuel Management Unit.

    The second problem is that near the end of second gear, and all throughout third gear - only under WOT, the PCM is shutting my boost off (instantly switches from 13psi to 5psi) and cutting my injector pulsewidths (from 20 milliseconds to around 14). When this happens, I can continue accelerating at a slower rate, or I can let off the gas, and floor it again, and it's OK for a few more seconds. It will run right up to the speed limiter at 126 mph at half throttle. At full throttle, I have this 'bog' problem.

    I have read that the Boost Bypass Valve redirects boost under four conditions - Park, Reverse, idle, and extreme engine load. Do you know the PCM's definition of 'extreme engine load'?

    My best guess right now is that I have increased my combustion chamber pressure too much for the octane I am running. I found some 108 octane unleaded (VP Racing Fuel - red), and plan to see if that resolves my issues.

    If the higher octane solves the problems, I guess I'll have to reduce my boost, add an intercooler, or consider water or alcohol injection.

    Are there any other major factors I should be considering as I work through my issues?

    Thanks in advance for your help!


    p.s. - and just how can I get rid of that speed limiter????
  • well the car is doing the same thing...service engine light comes on engine revs up and speedometer goes flat to zero, after 10 to 15 seconds the light dings again engine revs, lurches, and speedometer goes back to current speed....any ideas..please!..Thanks!
  • hutbethutbet Posts: 7
    got your message about re-torque body bolts and shart bolt. is this spelled right ? also would like to know who and where your dealer is located. this crunching in the steering mechanism is annoying. THANKS AGAIN.
  • jashoujashou Posts: 18
    Yes, that is the way it is spelled on the work order. I had the work done at Wiesner Pontiac-GMC in Houston., actually Conroe (which is just North of Houston). If you need any help let me know and I will get a better explanation from the dealer. You can reach me via mail at Good luck!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Sorry to hear you're still having problems. The symptoms you're describing now sound like an intermittent signal problem with the vehicle speed sensor in the transaxle. It'll kill the speedo and shut off the cruise control, and because the pcm doesn't know the vehicle's speed it'll default the transaxle to 2nd gear (the engine rev). Check for a stored code 24. Also, if code 24 is stored it doesn't necessarily mean the sensor's pooched. Could be an intermittent open circuit in a wiring harness, connector, etc. If I were diagnosing it I'd start by hooking up a scan tool and monitor the vss input to the ecm, looking for a signal dropout when the symptoms occur.

    haven't forgotten you, I'm working on it. I've e-mailled one of my GM engineering buddies. Waiting for his reply.
  • Hi, I am NEW coming to you from Packer country if you are a football fan. I have READ ALL 232 messages so as not to repeat questions. I started to learn, but alas so much info has me confused since I am not a mechanic, plus I read them in 2 evenings. ( Can't learn calculus in 2 nites either) you get my point.

    I love the bonnevilles and am currently test driving a 96 sse with 47000 miles on it. The pontiac dealer had replaced the serpentine belt when the previous owner traded it in, the salesperson swears he has been driving it and it is great. .

    I now drive a 93 jeep grand cherokee, have no car payments and would like to update to a comfortable car of which I am sure is the Bonne, I love them, hence my name: bonnelover!!! I am set on getting one of these so to my questions:

    Question 1: . I did notice black spots on my clean driveway that came from the right exhaust (not the left) after I had put it in park and reved the engine to see if it had a rev limiter on it. There also was a bit of hardly noticeable fog type air that came out only on the right side. Is this carbon deposits or something to do with the egr valve that I read about in an other message that I should be expecting repairs on?

    Question 2: I don't have a large hill around here to drive up, how can I check for these problems that were noted in earlier postings when going up hills with these cars, I could have this car for a year and then not encounter a hill till I drive way up north skiing or something. The dealer gives a 3000 mile warranty. Thank's in advance and not to be partial but ALCON I hope you are out there and can clue me in cause I need answers quick before someone snatches up this car.

    Question 3 : Dealer wants 12,940.00. Is this a good price? I checked edmunds used price guide and for a private party got 11,284 for a "clean" vehicle. " Average" vehicle comes out to $10,859 which sounds great to me. Dealer is not budging much on the $12,940. And because I LOVE these cars it shows when I am talking price with the salesperson!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The black spots out of one exhaust tip are typical of the catalytic converter doing it's job of converting hydrocarbons (fuel from revving the engine) and oxygen into H2O and CO2. And since there's a single pipe back from the converter the stuff's going to take the easiest way out. Not to worry.

    The shudder on grades usually starts in the 60-80K mile range, and is usually your engine's way of telling you it'd like new DELCO plug wires. :-) Don't use aftermarket wires, they won't last.

    As for the price, you're asking the wrong guy since I'm Canadian. Dollar exchanges and car prices here make the Canadian numbers way higher. If you really like the car though, consider that the dealer has put money into reconditioning it and is offering a 3,000 mile warranty. Most private sellers do their reconditioning on their way through the local car wash. Try a search through and see what comparable cars are going for on lots in your area. That'll help you make a more informed decision. Good luck with it.
  • The price your dealership quoted you seems high for a '96. We purchased a '97 from a very reputable dealership in Iowa for $12,000 (it had moderate miles and our mechanic came back thumbs up). I ran a carfax report to get history information before we purchased the car - maybe something you would want to check out as well ( Good luck - ours has been good to us and I love the lux ride!
  • ayratayrat Posts: 26
    This morning I noticed pinging sound when accelerating, coming from under the hood in AT area. When I switched to first gear the sound become grinding. I already drove for about 5 miles of local traffic with a lot of lights, when I realized that, and when I parked the vehicle i found that ATfluid is leaking in big amounts. I found it was leaking from corroded metal line connecting AT and radiator.
    Obviously I have to replace the line a.s.a.p.
    But the thing is, that in December 2000 i went to our local Duane-Salerno GM dealership and have been offered to perform a recall on my car. Some time later after I pick up the car I found that of two cooler lines only one had been replaced, and the other was left untouched. I'm not sure though if this was right. The recall description says: "dealers will replace the transmission oil cooler lineS". Does it mean both or one?
    Another thing - could it destroy the transmission? I still saw some fluid in there, but the sound when I shifted to gear "1" was bad even though not too loud. I called GM customer service, but they pointed back to dealer and could not provide the information on what exactly should be performed within recall...

    the following is extracts from NHTSA recall description:

    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 96V015000
    Manufacturer: GENERAL MOTORS CORP.
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 585182

    Year: 1992
    Make: PONTIAC
    Manufactured From: To:
    Year of Recall: '96
    Type of Report: Vehicle



  • Ocassionally, whenever I shutdown my 2000 SE (new last May) the ghost inside the radio changes stations, volume level or powers itself off with no particular pattern and for no apparent reason. The dealer has replaced the radio, checked the electrical system and computer, all to no avail. We've tried to eliminate outside influences such other radios, cell phones, garage door openers but nothing leads to the real offender. Could it be the radio controls on the steering wheel? No other operational problems with the car.
  • hankjkhankjk Posts: 4
    I have a 96 sle that burns about 1 quart of oil every 3k miles. This car always consumed oil from day 1. I was told this is normal. Any 1 else have the same problem?
  • twobrownstwobrowns Posts: 52
    I had a 95 bonneville that used about that amount in 3000 miles. Never complained since I changed the oil every 3000 miles. I once had a pontiac that used 1 qt in 400 miles from day 1 and was told that was normal. I guess as long as it runs IT'S NORMAL!
  • skyhawk3skyhawk3 Posts: 42
    I have a 2001 with the one CD radio. When we start the car sometimes it picks up with the tract that was playing when we shut the car off, sometimes it starts the CD from the first tract, and other times either the radio comes on FM or AM. I have decided to ignore the issue. The thought of the dealer inside my dash bothers me more that the radio ghost. This has been almost from day 1.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    The radio has a personalization feature that recognizes the driver by which remote was used. You will note that the emotes are numbered 1 & 2 on the back. Could you be using different emotes occasional or could the car pick up a signal from the other remote on the other key ring if you have a second driver in the house? I would think the problems is there and note in the radio itself.
Sign In or Register to comment.